Gonzalez homers as Rockies rally past Blue Jays 9-5
DENVER (AP) Troy Tulowitzki received a warm reception from the Coors Field fans. The Colorado Rockies weren't as welcoming to their former teammate.
Carlos Gonzalez homered, Jon Gray tossed seven solid innings and the Rockies beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-5 on Monday night to spoil Tulowitzki's return to Colorado.
Tulowitzki went 0 for 4 in his first game in Denver since Toronto acquired him from the Rockies last July 27. He received a standing ovation when he batted in the second inning. He stepped out of the batter's box and doffed his helmet to the 34,619 fans.
''It was a cool moment for me. Brought back a lot of memories,'' Tulowitzki said. ''It was great to see the fans react in that way. Definitely exciting.''
Gonzalez was happy the fans cheered for Tulowitzki, but it also served as motivation for the outfielder.
''That was pretty special for him and the fans. For me, I kind of took it personal,'' Gonzalez said. ''When Tulo stepped to the plate they were cheering and doing the Tulo chant. I said, `OK, let me make sure they know I'm the one wearing purple. You better cheer for me when I hit it in the seats.'''
He got the reaction he wanted when he sent Marco Estrada's changeup into the second deck in right field in the sixth inning.
''To be able to hit a changeup off him you have to look for it,'' Gonzalez said. ''If he threw me another fastball it would have been a different story.''
Tulowitzki was hoping for a different outcome but he did have his moments. He made a barehanded grab to throw out Nick Hundley to end the sixth inning and end a threat.
Edwin Encarnacion homered twice and Devon Travis also went deep for the Blue Jays.
Gray retired 12 straight and 16 of 17 batters after Travis' homer in the first inning made it 1-0. The Blue Jays made it 4-0 in the third on Josh Donaldson's RBI single and Encarnacion's first homer.
Gray (5-3) settled down to pitch the seventh. He allowed four runs and five hits and struck out eight.
Estrada had allowed three hits before Gonzalez's three-run homer - his 17th - made it a one-run game. It was his 189th home run with Colorado, moving him past Tulowitzki for fifth on the franchise list.
''Look at Estrada's numbers. He's having a heck of a year,'' Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. ''We had a hard time figuring him out but that swing right there put us right back into it.''
The Rockies scored six runs in the seventh off three relievers. Drew Storen (1-3) hit two straight batters ahead of Nolan Arenado's two-run single, Jesse Chavez walked Mark Reynolds with the bases loaded and Daniel Descalso followed with a single to drive in two more.
''It wasn't a good inning there,'' Toronto manager John Gibbons said.
Brandon Barnes' RBI double, his second hit of the inning, made it 9-4. Encarnacion hit his 21st homer to lead off the ninth.
Rockies OF Charlie Blackmon was named the NL Player of the Week on Monday. Blackmon hit .424 with five home runs and nine RBIs. He hit safely in all seven games.
Blue Jays: 1B Justin Smoak pinch-hit in the seventh after sitting out all three games against the White Sox over the weekend with a bruised and swollen left knee.
Rockies: SS Trevor Story was feeling better after taking a pitch off his right middle finger in Sunday's game. He took batting practice and did some throwing. He said the finger is a little swollen but improving. ... An MRI on DJ LeMahieu's left knee showed no damage and confirmed he suffered a contusion during Sunday's game against Arizona. Weiss said he doesn't think LeMahieu will need to go on the 15-day DL.
Blue Jays: LHP J.A. Happ (9-3, 3.42) is 3-0 in his last three starts and has averaged 6 1-3 innings in the outings.
Rockies: RHP Eddie Butler (2-4, 6.71) struggled in his last start, allowing six runs and 11 hits in five innings against Arizona.